Some businesses shy away from using social media because they're afraid of negative feedback. That's understandable, but they're missing out on a huge opportunity. With social media, you can turn critics into one of your greatest assets.
You really can't prevent people from saying bad things about you. If they're going to say it online, chances are they're already saying it to their friends. You may think that since they're saying it on a public forum that it will reflect poorly on your company, but that's not necessarily true.
With social media, you have the opportunity to turn vocal critics into raving fans. You can also show others how attentive you are when it comes to customer service and establish yourself as a social business that truly cares about customer feedback.
Negative Feedback Is Better Than No Feedback
The worst response that you can get from your customers is indifference. The people who are going out of their way to openly say negative things about you are actually more valuable to your company than people who are sitting back and saying nothing at all. This may sound crazy but you'll soon understand why.
These people really want to like your business, there's just something about it that they're not pleased with. Most of the time, they're just customers with a simple complaint. Every business has to deal with customers like this.
If you take the time to understand their issues, respond to their complaints and satisfy their needs, they'll go from being critics to being happy customers. Instead of openly complaining about you they'll use that energy to praise your excellent service. Customers love getting personal attention. Essentially, you can turn a critic into a brand ambassador by responding to them rather than ignoring them.
Customer Service Is A Big Part of Social Media
These days, when customers have a question or complaint, they are more likely to contact you through social media rather than e-mail, phone or a contact form on your site. By actively monitoring and responding to them you're providing great customer service and building a strong relationship with your customers.
Since social media is very public, you also have the added benefit of people seeing you providing this service. As a result, you're enhancing brand reputation and establishing your company as a social business.
Everyone likes to think that they run a perfect business, but the truth is that every business has issues. By making yourself receptive to customer concerns on social media you may be introduced to issues that you weren't even aware of.
This presents you with the opportunity to be proactive in modifying certain aspects of your business to prevent complaints in the future. There's always room for improvement; think of this as research and development!
Social media critics can be good for your business. As long as their complaints are reasonable, just respond to them as you would with any other customer service issue. This can be beneficial by turning critics into brand ambassadors, establishing yourself as a social business, enhancing your reputation and facilitating research and development.
What's your experience with critics on social media? What is your strategy for responding to them? Please let us know by adding a response in the comments section.
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Matt Southern is the Social Media Manager at Bureau, a Canadian communications firm.
With an advanced diploma in Public Relations and a B.A. in Communication Studies he's passionate about learning how to build connections with people, which translates into his work and his writing.
He specializes in helping businesses build a human connection with their audiences through integrated strategies involving social media, content marketing and search engine optimization.
You can visit his website at MattSouthern.com, where he blogs about topics that are designed to educate and provide value to small businesses looking to get more results out of their social media marketing.
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